ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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On the Inter-Group Inclusiveness of India's Consumption Expenditure Growth

This paper complements an earlier one by the same authors ("On the Interpersonal Inclusiveness of India's Consumption Expenditure Growth", EPW, 10 November 2012) on the interpersonal inclusiveness of consumption expenditure growth in India. Covering six data points in the 27-year period from 1983 to 2009-10 (respectively, five data points in the 22-year period from 1987-88 to 2009-10), the present essay reviews evidence on the inter-caste (respectively, inter-occupation) inclusiveness of consumption expenditure growth in the country. The population groupings considered are simple binary classifications on the basis of caste and of occupation. "Inclusiveness" is assessed in terms of the conformity (or its absence) of the actual group-wise distributions of the fruits of growth with normatively specified "egalitarian" allocations across groups. As with interpersonal inclusiveness, the record of inter-group inclusiveness also turns out to be disappointingly deficient.

The present paper is based on a part of a larger one that was written in the course of a visit by S Subramanian to the World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER Working Papers Series: D Jayaraj and S Subramanian: “On the ‘Inclusiveness’ of India’s Consumption Expenditure Growth”, Working Paper Number 2012/57, Helsinki). Subramanian records his thanks for the hospitality provided by UNU-WIDER; and both authors acknowledge their debt to Sripad Motiram for comments, Lorraine Telfer-Taivainen for her fi ne editing of the paper, and an anonymous referee of this journal for her/his helpful suggestions towards reorganising the structure of the paper.

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